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Details emerge about alleged Cuomo sexual assault

Mar 11, 2021 6:33 am

Brendan J. Lyons reports for the Times Union more details about a sixth woman's alleged story about sexual harassment at the hands of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. On March 3, the woman, a Cuomo staff member, watched as the governor gave a press conference where he denied Lindsey Boylan's sexual harassment allegations. Cuomo denied ever touching any women "inappropriately." As the female staffer watched, she became emotional and at least one female supervisor helped her and asked why she was upset. That's when the female aide first revealed to a supervisor her claim that Cuomo behaved inappropriately with her, a source told the Times Union. The newspaper is not revealing the identity of the staff member making the allegation, though the report says she is much younger than Cuomo. The story says she claimed to have been called to the governor's mansion "under the apparent pretext of having her assist the governor with a minor technical issue involving his mobile phone. They were alone in Cuomo's private residence on the second floor when he closed the door and allegedly reached under her blouse and began to fondle her, according to the source." She then told the governor to stop, the story says. Cuomo issued a statement for the story denying the assault: "As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general’s report.” This new Times Union story led to more Democrats in the state legislature to come out publicly in favor of Cuomo's resignation or impeachment. Before the story, just in the state assembly, the Associated Press reports that, "at least 27 Democrats and 12 Republicans in the chamber have called for Cuomo to resign" and in the state senate 28 of the 76 needed from both parties, had said publicly that they want to impeach Cuomo. After the story emerged others called for Cuomo's resignation or impeachment. Local state senator Michelle Hinchey released a statement saying, "In light of these allegations, coupled with the deliberate mishandling and withholding of information, I believe it is in the best interest of the people of New York for the Governor to resign." There are five other sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo that the attorney general's office is investigating. Debra Katz, the attorney for one of the other women, issued a statement after the Times Union story went public, and said the allegations by the female aide are "eerily similar" to Charlotte Bennett's experience. "Charlotte was summoned to the Capitol on a Saturday, left isolated with the governor and asked to help him with minor technical issues with his phone. Charlotte reported this behavior and the governor’s sexual proposition to his most senior aides, including his Special Counsel, Judith Mogul. In response, those aides failed to report Charlotte’s claims to the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, as they were legally required," Katz said. Read more about this story in the Times Union.

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